You can't confuse the dot-com revolution with biotech and its stock options," says Edward Abrahams, executive director of the Pennsylvania Biotech Association. "Biotech has much longer lead times to profitability and it's risky business--rooted in the transformation of the [National Institutes of Health] economy," he says. "Scientists shouldn't be in biotech just for the stock. The motivation has to be discovery and creating something--the process of making a contribution for the betterment of mankind."

While these sentiments have a familiar, if not anachronistic ring, especially in this era of overnight millionaires and megagreed, Abrahams is serious. Scientists tend to be more mission- than money-oriented. Yet in an era of fizzling Nasdaq prices, wild Internet valuations, and the chance to turn entrepreneurial ideas into millions and even billions, scientists are not immune from the lure of stock options and Wall Street. Indeed, stock has become a major part of biotech...

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